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Dear fellow educators, I was elected President of the GAE student chapter in June of this year. Since then, we have been able to successfully expand our membership while also uniting current and future educators for effective political action. But we didn’t stop there. Along with my colleagues, I organized and hosted the annual GAE student conference in Athens where students and professors from campuses all over Georgia attended. Through this conference, we were all inspired to lead beyond our classrooms, campuses, and professions to let our stories and voices as educators be heard. I for one plan on continuing this commitment to guide my colleagues by mobilizing the Georgia Association of Educator’s Student Lobby day at the Capitol building on February 17, 2015. Join me and my fellow student members in helping to make positive change. Together, we have the power to give our children a better future.   www.gae.org | 23 Sincerely, Ansley Barfield President GAE Student Programs The following morning the conference would expose participants to what it looks like when educators express themselves through political activism. NEA Organizational Specialist Cory Wofford led students through a day-long workshop aimed at equipping conference attendees with the tools to engage their peers to act on ideas. Wofford coached students in the telling of their individual stories to help connect them with a greater cause. He encouraged participants to “connect with people’s head and heart at the same time” in the telling of Self, Us, and Now, a mantra used in successful public story telling. Attendees walked away with much more than inspiration for becoming future educators. As a collective, student members expressed a sense of empowerment in being able to impact their respective communities through their chosen profession. This rousing success was much more than GAE Student president and conference planner Ansley Barfield had hoped. Ansley, who worked closely with UniServ Director and Student Program coordinator, Jessi Rush, said she was moved to tears at hearing how the story of Self, Us, and Now had impacted her peers. She said, “Every single evaluation we got back from student participants was so positive.” Ansley was even more so impressed at how the conference’s impact was similar to what she experienced after having attended her first NEA conference. She noted that student members learned “their profession doesn’t have to end in the class room; it extends far beyond the school doors.” FACING THE FUTURE The political engagement theme of the 2014 Student Conference paralleled the Student Program’s objectives for the 2014-2015 year. With the help and guidance of Student Program coordinator Jessi Rush, Ansley and her fellow executive officers developed a comprehensive to-do list: • Engage chapters in the Get Out the Vote efforts during 2014 election – Results: Organized National Voter Registration Day on 6 college campuses (over 150 students registered) • Utilize story of Self, Us, and Now training at the fall student conference – Results: Held a successful fall GAE Student Conference • Spread the story of Self, Us and Now on campuses to develop a cohesive chapter message regarding the future of GA public education • Organize GAE-SP lobby day in February 17, 2015 at the Georgia General Assembly • Include opportunities for student members to share their stories with representatives from the State Department of Education and the Governor’s Office Having successfully tackled two of their major objectives this year, the Student Program is undoubtedly heading for a successful year. WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE STUDENT PROGRAM? Visit: www.gae.org or contact Ansley Barfield at ansley.barfield@gae.org A MESSAGE FROM THE SGAE PRESIDENT You can make a difference! You are our future… this is where you learn to lead.” — Chris Baumann Ansley Barfield


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